Quite the opposite to a grand day out to be honest, there was a cold SE wind and heavy rain all day, and it was only a bit of afternoon 'local exercise' anyway. But I was determined to make Tuesday the day I renewed my vow of allegiance to the Lune Estuary after a near 11 month absence.
With the conditions being as they were there was little birding done, not a day for standing around to count swans and see if there was any Bewick's amongst the Whooper's, and the walk along the headland was nothing to be called pleasant, but I managed the full circuit of Cockersand to reaffirm my love of the place, its birds and wildlife.
Calling in at Conder Green, I was disappointed that I couldn't find the enthusiasm to get wind blown and a soaking to do the circuit, but I reckon if I had have done, there was the chance of finding a wintering Common Sandpiper. It was pleasing to see 6 Little Grebe here, also a pair of Goosander to note, and 25 Wigeon were quietly grazing.
I was quite pleased to have caught up with a Snow Bunting some of which have been present at Cockersand a few weeks now. The swans were all over the place, with a total of 375 Whooper Swan seen in five fields including a group of around 120 on Jeremy Lane. Otherwise today, Cockersand was a mere ghost of its real self but never losses any of its affection for me.
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My video has probably been featured on B2B before, but it's a nice reminder of the therapeutic value of birds like these beautiful Golden Plover.
In one of my posts at the beginning of December last year, I wrote....Until 1,000 had been reported at Cockersand yesterday Saturday 5 December, the Golden Plover had so far been absent in number from the Lune Estuary to date this winter, counts had only been at around 500. My last combined peak count was of c.3,350 Golden Plover at Glasson/Cockersand on 16 December 2019, probably representing the entire Lune Estuary population at the time. A notable comment on the LDBWS sightings page from one regular Lune Estuary birder last Sunday 29 October....'Didn't see a single Golden Plover'.
This winter the Golden Plover seems to be AWOL again from the Lune Estuary, the best count I could find was of 1,250 on the Lune Estuary at Glasson 20 December. With no figures to hand for 2020, these compare to a WeBS peak count of 3,712 in January 2019 which actually puts my claim of probably representing the entire estuary population on 16 December 2019 just 362 adrift.
Records of my count for January with no duplication, stands at 46 Stonechat at 24 locations, wintering mainly on the Fylde coast and surrounding area.
Martin Jump's header image of the Robin qualifies for the brilliant category in my book....Thanks Martin.
Marton Mere, Blackpool, many moons ago.